Have you ever tucked away a precious part of you in a dimly lit corner of your life?
It’s a metaphor…but I actually did this. Both figuratively, and literally.
It took me two years to learn why and I share it with you because it’s more common than you think. And, you may discover you’ve hidden away a piece of you, too.
Two years ago, my daughter, Grace and I took a painting class together. Grace was 9-years old at the time and it was our first “grownup” bonding activity together.
The class theme was “I Am.” The art project was to include a collage of words identifying who we are and then glue them onto a canvas flower painting.
If you know me at all — you know I love this type of thing.
I crave meaning at every turn in life and relish deep, soulful questions. My love language? You guessed it — words.
So, needless to say, I was in my element playing with paint and creating a visual image of who I am. Even sweeter, was that I was doing it with my daughter.
Grace and I worked side-by-side flipping through magazines, scanning the pages for words that resonated with who we are. Typically slow and methodical with her work at school, Grace was blazing ahead on this project, her inner compass highly attuned to the precise words without hesitation.
In just minutes, she collected the words: great, a creator, sweet, style, confident, amazing, love, a friend, a cat, lucky.
My search took longer. I was more prone to analyzing and second-guessing each word. Eventually, I surrendered to the same intuitive flow in which Grace worked. (Watch a child in their creative mode and see how quickly and confidently they make decisions. It’s inspiring!)
My right brain, creative process unconsciously clipped words that revealed a more spiritual aspect of myself that I’d been nurturing for years, but held on the periphery. My words: love, woods, light, open, fun, inspired, spiritual, home, peace, best mom ever (Grace’s pick), yoga.
I looked at my words. “This is me,” I thought. And, I knew I needed to bring these authentic aspects of myself from the peripheral edges to the center.
Would I own my true self and allow others to see all of me?
Would others poke fun at my expense?
Would I risk rejection or criticism in order to be loved for who I am?
Grace proudly hung her painting the very next day.
I placed mine in a dimly lit corner of my bedroom.
It took me two years to hang it on my wall.
I can sum it up in 3 vulnerable, super-real reasons I told myself at the time (whether I was aware or not). And, for each, some present moment wisdom from my higher, compassionate self.
#1 ”I’ll get to hanging it one day. I’m too busy right now.”
Let’s be honest. This is a bullshit answer. Let’s have the courage to dig down and see what’s underneath. Be bold in asking: What’s really going on? What am I afraid of?
#2 “My art is not good enough to hang on a wall.”
We all suffer from “not enough” thinking. Me. You. The beautiful, seems-to-have-it-all-together friend on Instagram. Don’t get stuck there. We must BELIEVE WE ARE ENOUGH.
#3 “This is too much ‘me.’ No one wants to see it hung on a wall.”
We’ll cycle right back to “not enough” if we don’t ACT LIKE WE’RE ENOUGH. This means we take up space. We speak our truth. We hang shit up that says “this is me.” Own it.
It took me two years to hang my “I Am” painting.
Two years of unconscious “not good enough” thinking.
Two years of hiding in a corner.
But the lesson is priceless.
Now, every time I walk past my art, I feel myself walk a little taller.
Kelley Doyle Snyder, PCC, CDWF, RYT
Life Coach, Workshop & Retreat Leader
Kelley Doyle Coaching